Switzerland County rode two big quarters to a 2-0 record on Saturday night with a 69-45 victory over Southwestern.
The Pacers came out strong, outscoring the Rebels 25-9 in the opening quarter; and then went on another offensive rampage coming out of halftime, outscoring their guests by a 17-6 count to salt the game away.
Fueling the victory was the depth and balance of coach B.J. McAlister’s squad, which saw seven different players score in the first half. Southwestern opened the game with some hot shooting, taking an early 5-3 lead; but from their Switzerland County controlled the remainder of the quarter.
Chase Ritch drilled a three-pointer to get the run started, and Austin Clark quickly followed that with another three-pointer. Alex Curran scored inside; and when Austin Clark powered to the hoop with three minutes to play, the Pacers held a 13-5 lead.
Mackenzy Withered slowed the run with a three-pointer for Southwestern; but Trevor Smith followed that with a runner in the lane to stop that run; and after the Rebels Zach Westerfield made a freethrow, the Pacers got another three-pointer from Chase Ritch and a basket by Alex Curran to extend the lead to 20-9 with 1:36 to play.
Chase Ritch closed the quarter with a jumper and his third three-pointer of the opening period; and after eight minutes of play, the Pacers held a 25-9 advantage.
Southwestern opened the second stanza with a three-pointer from Nick Wyne; but Trevor Smith again scored inside. Zach Westerfield scored for the Rebels; and after Braden Burk converted a three-pointer for Switzerland County, Alex Curran brought the Pacer crowd to its feet with a defensive steal and a slam dunk to extended the lead to 18 points.
From there the teams traded points for the remainder of the quarter, with Switzerland County getting a three-pointer from Riley Phagan and baskets by Chase Ritch, T.J. White and Justus Powell to take a 41-22 advantage into the halftime break.
The Switzerland County offense came out of halftime on fire, getting buckets from Chase Ritch and Austin Clark and a three-point play by Alex Curran. After Mackenzy Withered broke that string; the Pacers got buckets from Alex Curran and Austin Clark to make the lead 52-24 with six minutes to play.
Tyler Jones scored for the Rebels, but Southwestern couldn’t contain the Switzerland County offense, with Austin Clark converting a freethrow; Braden Burk drilling a three-pointer; and T.J. White scoring inside to keep up the pressure.
Mackenzy Withered scored for Southwestern at the end of the period; but with just a quarter left to play, Switzerland County had the game safely in hand, leading by 30 – 58-28.
With the outcome decided, the final quarter saw the Switzerland County coaching staff working on different combinations of players – but that didn’t mean that the work stopped.
Austin Clark scored seven straight points for Switzerland County before retiring to the bench for the night; and Braden Burk and T.J. White also had buckets as the game came to a close.
The final score saw the Pacers in front by a score of 69-45.
Austin Clark led the Pacer charge with 19 points; and Alex Curran added 14 points and 14 rebounds. Chase Ritch made it three Switzerland County players in double figures, as he finished with 13 points.
Braden Burk contributed eight points in the contest; T.J. White had six points; Trevor Smith had four; Riley Phagan had three; and Justus Powell chipped in two.
Mackenzy Withered led the Rebels with 14 points; and Nick Wyne was in double figures with 12.
In the junior varsity game, the Pacers won by a score of 47-14.
Nathan Hunter was Switzerland County’s leading scorer with 17 points; and Riley Phagan was in double figures, finishing with 14 points.
Ben Curran had eight points; Justus Powell had six; and Nolan Armstrong added two points.
The Pacers return to action tomorrow (Friday) night when they entertain Trinity Lutheran. The jayvee game kicks off at 6 p.m.